Malkhassian Fastest in First MX-5 Cleveland Practice CLEVELAND, Ohio (June 22, 2007) -- Kicking off a double-race weekend, Ara Malkhassian, of Sonoma, Calif., was fastest in practice for Round Five of the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite...
Malkhassian Fastest in First MX-5 Cleveland Practice
CLEVELAND, Ohio (June 22, 2007) -- Kicking off a double-race weekend, Ara Malkhassian, of Sonoma, Calif., was fastest in practice for Round Five of the SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup portion of the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by LaSalle Bank. Jason Saini, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Matt Cross, of Folsom, Calif., were second and third fastest, respectively.
Hitting the runways of Burke Lakefront Airport for the first time in series history, several MX-5 cup drivers exchanged fast time before it became clear that whoever could break the 1:30 barrier would finish the session at the top of the charts. Cleveland native Saini did it first, but it was Malkhassian in the No. 11 Alara Racing MX-5 who put in a 1:29.792 (84.435 mph) as the checkered flag flew, to finish the session with fast time.
Driving the No. 28 Autobarn Mazda/SafeRacer.com, Saini's time of 1:29.950 (84.286 mph) was good enough for second fastest. Cross, in the No. 80 Jason Hoover Motorsports/Hooverspeed MX-5, ended the session third with a 1:30.517 (83.758 mph), despite an early spin and brush with the wall.
Bob Michaelian, of Seal Beach, Calif., turned a 1:30.645 (83.640 mph) in his Hooverspeed MX-5 to finish the session in fourth. Portland winner Andrew Caddell, of Graham, Wash., was fifth on the time sheets in his No. 30 Team MER/AimSport/Pinnacle Mazda MX-5 with a 1:30.850 (83.451 mph).
Pratt Cole, Barry Fromberg, Andrew Carbonell, Jesse Combs and Elivan Goulart completed the top ten.
Qualifying for tonight's Round Five race, part of a doubleheader, is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. (EDT). The race will go green at 8:25 p.m. Race Two is scheduled for Saturday night at 7:20 p.m. and will be preceded by new practice and qualifying sessions.
For all the event info from the MX-5 Cup doubleheader at the Grand Prix of Cleveland, including live timing and lap notes, visit www.mx-5cup.com.
-credit: scca pro racing